There is a variety of formats and enclosures to choose from, and rechargeable powering scheme within the realm of DIY.
Thanks to a stronger CPU and more memory under the hood we could pack everything in, without any compromises.
Now operating at over 50kHz sampling rate, with support for SD card and MIDI for direct playability and easy programming.
As one of the owners put it: "An art object that creates more art in the process."
Gecho is a hand-made, digital, polyphonic pocket synthesizer controlled by buttons and sensors.
Whenever you power it on, it becomes a meditation tool, source of endless music from your environment...
Or an amusing sound processor reacting to your voice, other instruments and various everyday objects that make sound or noise.
It is a meditative and experimental device, sampler and effect processor built rather for the experience than any serious use
(although many owners have found their way).
Basically, it can run various sound engines and modulate what's going on inside with your voice,
or signal from the line-in, or combination of both; this often creates interesting and unexpected results.
And if the particular engine works with a sequence or a chord progression, it's also playable by MIDI.
If you intend to use it in making music, probably the most useful thing you can do is to find interesting sounds and record them
into DAW or a sampler.
With default settings, it generates pleasant soundscapes like it's predecessors, classic Gecho V1 and Glo...
But if you are willing to dig deeper, there are many ways how to configure it to do what you need.
Of course I do not have a definitive answer and everone's expectations are different, but over the years I've observed a trend.
As a rule of thumb, just look at other gear you use.
If you have a collection of Korg Volcas, Pocket Operators,
Bastl Kastl or something from Rakit, Error Instruments, Ellitone, Spherical Sound Society, Cat Full of Ghosts or some other
small synths manufactured rather by DIY‑ers than big corporations, then Gecho is likely to be a good fit for you.
Those are devices that I have as well and my goal is to make my synths compatible with this ecosystem.
Also, it is a good idea to get a MIDI keyboard (I use Arturia Keystep) for playing in real time and for easier programming.
If, on the other hand, you already use larger gear for example from Electron, Ableton,
Novation or Teenage Engineering's OP-1 or OP-Z, and you are not a collector, then my product
probably does not have anything interesting to offer you. I don't know much about that group of synths and I am not planning to get
any of them in order to figure out how to make my devices seamlessly compatible with them.
Of course the world of music making is not strictly divided into these two camps, numerous people keep in high regard both pocketable
and desktop gear, and figured out how to make a good use of them all.
We are working on more, but it is one of the most time consuming aspects of this project,
so please be patient. New functions usually appear in the firmware update long before they get demoed.
Complete unit: €249 (€289 with EU VAT)
You will be able to select colour of the silicone buttons and front panel when placing your order. There are six choices: translucent, sunflower yellow, bordeaux violet, lime green, sky blue and telemagenta (and here is how they look in black
and blue panel).
Accessories include USB & MIDI cable, manual and stickers. No batteries are included.
The box is hand-made from solid wood, Ash. Unlike the boxes for "classic" Gecho v1, which were made from Alder wood, Ash is a bit harder and has more contrasting grain.
The unit is detachable from the box; it's held by 4 magnets. There are slots for all connectors so you do not need to remove the insides out while playing.
In the gallery at the end of this page you can find photos taken from various angles. This wooden box does not come in different finishes like the v1 model (it mostly resembles the Antique Oak but the wood grain is more apparent).
Gecho is powered by three AA batteries. You can use any disposable or rechargeable type
(Ni-Cd, Ni-MH or Ni-Zn; these need to be charged externally with a dedicated charger).
To extend battery life, or as an alternative, you can power Gecho via the USB port. Plug or unplug it at any time as required, without affecting normal operation.
Alternatively, it is possible to modify each unit to be powered from a Li-Po cell.
You will need to take the inner enclosure apart, desolder and remove the AA battery holder and solder two wires and two jumpers.
First few units should be available in early December.
This option offers new look with metal plated front panel, but in a sleek and compact form factor.
Inputs, outputs and the functionality is exactly the same as in all other variants.
It is embedded in a plastic shell and by default powered via USB (e.g. from laptops, adapters, power banks).
You may want to add a Li-Po cell, it requires
soldering two wires and two jumpers.
However this is only useful for portability, and possibly to make it easier to avoid ground loops.
As opposed to old Gecho (version 1, 2016 model), here the user content and settings are stored persistently in Flash
and do not require a back-up battery.
Accessories include USB & MIDI cable, carrying pouch, manual and stickers.
You will be able to select colour of the silicone buttons when placing your order. There are six choices: translucent, sunflower yellow, bordeaux violet, lime green, sky blue and telemagenta. Also there will be three or four front panel colours to choose from (you can see some previews on Instagram,
more photos soon).
Classic v1 Gecho in the wooden box: €149 (€179 with EU VAT)
This is the 2016 Kickstarter version installed in a wooden box (as opposed to the v2 model, it is not removable from the box).
There are two headphone / line outputs, one line input (that can directly support piezo pickups) and no MIDI interface.
The firmware has been recently updated (more info here).
Functionality wise, the patches available in either model do overlap to about 80% (although some may sound or behave slightly different).
Those that depend on a specific hardware only exist where it is possible. Some 3rd party sound engines (MI Clouds, Dekrispator) are not available in the v1 model as they require more memory and/or CPU power. All available channels are listed in the manual.
The v1 Gecho looks similar to v2 but under the hood they are completely different circuits -
not necessarily meaning that the new one is better, it all depends on what you are looking for.
For example, this v1 model works at a lower sampling rate and uses different sound chip, giving it a softer, more "analog(ish)" sound.
It actually has analog op-amp at input (for both microphones and line-in), followed by 12-bit ADC, and is easier to set up to work with
various external gear, such as electric guitar with magnetic pickups, or devices with piezo-ceramic pickups.
But again, there is no MIDI & sync. In the v2 model you can get higher samplig rates but
if the connected sound source does not transmit at line level or at least headphone level voltages, you'd need to use an external pre-amp.
It is powered by 3xAA batteries or via USB (e.g. from laptops, adapters, power banks). It is possible to change the powering scheme
to a Li-Po cell, but it requires soldering.
Accessories include USB cable, carrying pouch, protective acrylic front plate, manual and stickers.
You will be able to select wooden box finish when placing your order. There are three choices: Light Oak, Antique Oak and Ebony.
Please check the old shop or Tindie page for more photos and information.
The PCB colour can only be blue. Buttons are mechanical, clicky, and cream white. They cannot be changed to other colour (that's only possible in v2).
Connect it to your guitar pickup, Korg Volcas, IKM Uno or something else! Let it play chord progressions in background while you practice, or be
an instant inspiration when you get stuck while composing.
Listen to textures, vibrations and infra-red light. Draw waveforms in the air and listen to them. Embed the board into your own enclosure and connect various sensors, buttons, encoders and more LEDs (one can never have too many shiny lights, right? :)
Learn basic DSP coding, invent your own effects; implement tuner, metronome, colourful VU-meter, abundant drum kits and sequencers using 32GB of storage on the Micro-SD card. Code sound
and touch triggered games, follow tutorials, learn and have fun!
This device is the result of collaborative effort of three family-owned businesses in three European countries, initially supported by over 500 happy KickStarter backers.
Made with passion at every step. By buying this product you are supporting sustainable development and innovation of this unique pocket synth line.